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Around and about Nollywood in one week

By Shaibu Husseini
10 December 2022   |   2:02 am
CJ Obasi’s Mami Wata Makes Sundance Film Festival Official Selection Nigeria’s flag will fly at full mast in January, at the Park City in Utah, United States, as CJ Obasi’s latest feature film, Mami Wata, will have its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival. The Sundance is regarded as one of the…

CJ Obasi’s Mami Wata Makes Sundance Film Festival Official Selection
Nigeria’s flag will fly at full mast in January, at the Park City in Utah, United States, as CJ Obasi’s latest feature film, Mami Wata, will have its world premiere at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival.

The Sundance is regarded as one of the top five film festivals in the world (Berlinale, Cannes, Toronto and Venice) and Obasi’s film, promoted as an African folktale, is on the official selection list of the festival.

Produced by Cj’s hardworking better half, Oge Obasi, the film revolves around two sisters who must fight to save a village and restore the glory of a mermaid goddess. The film, which features talented actors such as Kelechi Udegbe, Rita Edochie, Evelyne Ily and Uzoamaka Aniunoh will be competing with 11 other films in the world cinema dramatic competition section. It will not be the first time that a film by a Nigerian born director will premiere at Sundance, but it will be the first by a filmmaker who resides and works in Nigeria.

In 2021, Nigeria’s Sundance 2021 short film submission, Lizard, not only had its premiere at Sundance, but the film by Akinola Davies Jr, a Nigerian filmmaker and Wale, his brother won the prestigious short film Grand Jury Prize. Also, the win by Akinola Davies and the crew came after a first major success for Nigeria at the Sundance. Nigeria born but US based filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu was awarded Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for her film, Clemency, in 2018, making her the first black woman to win a Sundance Grand Jury Prize. The 2023 Sundance film festival will begin on January 19 and runs through January 29, 2023.

It is All Smiles Now For Okey Ogunjiofor
IF you are friends with Nollywood pioneer producer, Okechukwu Ogunjiofor aka Paulo and had run into him last week, you probably would not find him smiling. Okey, as the filmmaker is simply called by close friends, was distraught over a report linking him with a purported endorsement of the Governor of Imo State, Mr Hope Uzodinma, for transforming the state.

The report published in a national daily had suggested that the Nollywood pioneer best known for his effort in birthing the first part of the phenomenal 1992 movie, Living in Bondage, was among those who commended Governor Hope Uzodinma for transforming the state whilst they were in the state to attend the just held Best of Nollywood (BON) Awards which the Imo State government hosted.

But in a rejoinder, which he shared on his social media platforms, Ogunjiofor demanded a retraction of the story, as he did not attend the award ceremony neither did he commend the governor as claimed in the report. The last two lines of Okey’s rejoinder read: “I wasn’t anywhere near Imo State on the said date, neither was I in Owerri for the show. Yet, the paper says I was among those who commended the Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma for his uncommon devotion to duty. This is terrible journalism and I hereby demand Vanguard to retract this statement and correct it adequately in their subsequent publications.”
Moviedom learnt that the retraction has been effected and Okey is all smiles again.

Fans Troll Mercy Johnson’s Support For APC
AN Instagram post, which notable actress Mercy Johnson Okojie shared to support the campaign effort of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos has generated a flurry of reactions from her fans and observers. In the post, which the actress shared with a picture she took with the Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the APC women’s rally for the presidential flag bearer of the APC, the mother of four whose husband Prince Odianosen Okojie is vying for the office of Federal House of Representatives, Esan North East/Esan South East Federal Constituency had expressed confidence in the plans of the APC for women and Nigerians at large.

Criticism trailed the post soon after the actress made the post. But as the criticism heightened, Mercy Johnson’s husband came to the rescue with a post that will no doubt energised the actress more. He wrote: “My dear wife and best friend, thanks a lot for your support, you have always STOOD where I STAND, You are an amazing WOMAN. We will work hard for NIGERIA. I LOVE you and GOD Bless you.” Case Closed!

That Nkechi Blessing’s Visit To Oni of Ife
NOLLYWOOD Actress Nkechi Blessing is still in the news following her recent visit to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwunsi, in his palace at Ile-Ife, Osun State.

Although the actress that recently found love after parting ways with her politician lover was in Ife as judge at the 2022 edition of Queen Morémi Ajasoro Cultural Pageantry, which held at the Ooni’s palace, fans and observers have not stopped talking about her post and the picture she took with the Ooni.

A fan who commented on her Instagram handle noted that with the recent wedding engagements by the Ile-Ife monarch, he hope Nkechi was not gearing up to be wife number eight. We laugh in Moviedom.

Is Bimbo Ademoye Engaged?
IF you are an actress in Nollywood and you are single and you have not openly declared that you are engaged, be sure that you will be linked to someone, especially when busy bodies start seeing you with the person. Well, the gist in town is that notable actress Bimbo Ademoye is in a relationship that will lead to her joining the unofficial club of married Nollywood actresses.

A bird has been whispering lately that Bimbo, Queen Arolake in Kunle Afolayan’s epic movie, Anikulapo, is engaged to notable video jockey and television presenter Adams Ibrahim Adebola aka VJ Adams. Although we have refused to listen to this bird, the gist in town is that Bimbo and Adams have been seeing each other more frequently lately and that they may be heading to the aisles to seal the relationship. Moviedom can’t wait to bring you the full gist…

Richard Ayo Makun’s Almajiri Award Haul
HUMOUR King and movie producer Richard Ayo Makun aka AY should by now extend the award shelf in his office. Almajiri, the new film from his stable has won several awards this season. The movie bagged 12 awards, including best movie at the just concluded Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival. As if that was not enough, Almajiri, as directed by Toka McBaror got five awards at the Best of Nollywood Awards. The film featured Alex Ekubo, Annie Idibia, Rahama Sadau, Segun Arinze and others.